The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their own dreams.
If (for some strange reason) you could only consider one factor in your choice of camps, you should look at the camp’s staff. Their qualifications and experience will dictate the quality of care and instruction a camper will get, as well as the level of safety which can be maintained.
We are fortunate to have a highly experienced group of counselors, many of whom return year after year (the average counselor has been here four to five years). The average age is about 25. The youngest is 18, and through a year of college. Most young counselors will have been campers with us in previous years. The overall camper-to-counselor ratio (not including maintenance, kitchen, secretarial, etc.) is about four to one, which gives us a superb opportunity for individual attention.
Camp is a community of people who live, work and play together, and this is one of its greatest assets. Most counselors live in a cabin with four to six campers and teach an activity during activity periods. (Some counselors who are out of camp on trips a great deal do not have cabins.) The camp experience is one wherein adults have ample time to spend with youngsters, time to develop meaningful relationships, to talk, to listen, and to teach.
Green Cove was founded by Frank Bell, Sr. (Chief). Francis Cake and Chief’s daughter, Pat, directed the program during the early years. Calla (Mrs. Frank Bell, Sr.) took over in ’52 and was in charge until 1980. Since then, Nancy Bell has been director.
Nancy’s background includes 13 years as a camper and 13 years as a counselor. Much of this was at Green Cove, but 4 summers were spent at other camps. She graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in ’69, and received a MAT degree from Emory University in 1970. She taught 4th grade for a couple of years, then worked full time with horses until 1980, when she became director of Green Cove. Nancy continues to ride regularly, and teaches year round on a limited basis.
Caitlin Riley is a member of our year round staff as the Green Cove Assistant Director. While camp is in session, she works particularly with Activity Programs to ensure that the different programs mesh well together. Caitlin keeps an eye on the trips available thru the different activities, and the instructional programs for each area. She also works to coordinate trips that involve multiple activities on both intermediate and advanced levels. During the off season, she spends time traveling to recruit both campers and staff. She worked as a trip leader and cabin counselor for a camp in Northern Minnesota during her college years. It was during those summers that Caitlin recognized her passion for working in the outdoor industry. Since graduating in 2007, she has traveled all around the globe, teaching outdoor education in a variety of settings. During her free time, Caitlin loves to spend time outdoors, hiking, biking and running the trails with her hound, Lulu.
Barb Heck, has been a part of the Green Cove team for over 20 years, most recently as our Head of Swimming in June Camp, and Middler Linehead in Main camp. She is a second generation Green Cove girl, and has also worked at the barn as a groom and a riding instructor. Barb took some time off from camp to raise her two girls, but came back as soon as they were old enough to attend. She currently is a PE teacher and lives in the Atlanta area with her husband (whom she met at camp) and her daughters.
Barbara “Little” Weaver, has been a Program Director for 7 summers, most recently for Main Camp, but been a Green Cove girl since the 60s. After retiring from working in the corporate world for nearly 30 years, Little decided to “fill her time” by coming back to camp for a summer. That summer actually helped launch her into her second career, as she then became a certified elementary school teacher. Little lives in New Orleans during the rest of the year, where she teaches 3rd grade.
Elizabeth “E” Turner, is our Program Director for June camp. E was also a long time camper/staffer and returned to Green Cove in 2015 after taking a few years off. Originally from North Carolina, E did spend her college years up north, getting Masters in Social Work. She now lives in Winston-Salem with her husband and two daughters, who are both Green Cove campers and is a school psychologist.
Kim Alvare, grew up coming to camp with her sisters, while her mom was the camp nurse. She was on staff as a swim instructor and as a line head in the past, and has now taken over the role of Program Director for August camp. When not camp, Kim lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. She studied Piano performance in college and now does private piano lessons in her area. Her oldest daughters are now campers at Green Cove.
Lorett Swank, was here for her 7th summer as Main Camp’s Head of Swimming. Lorett is a Licensed Professional Counselor and currently works at Southeastern LA University as an instructor and advisor. She recently completed her PhD in Education Leadership, at LSU and is excited to be done with school! When not shuttling her daughter, Julie, between sports practices, she and her husband love to spend time in the outdoors.
Calla Williams, grew up at camp… literally. She is the daughter of Frank Bell and the niece of Green Cove director Nancy Bell. Calla was back at Green Cove this summer to head up our Riding program. And this summer, she brought a couple friends with her: her two sons, Tucker and Elliot. When not at camp, Calla and her family lives in Charlottesville, VA where she works as a massage therapist.
David Bell ran our Paddling Program during Main camp this summer. David has a long history with camp, growing up at Mondamin while his father Frank was the director. He took some time off from camp life and spent 11 years living and teaching English in Taiwan. David recently moved back to the States, now residing in New York City with his wife and 5 year old twins. He spent a couple summers working on the paddling staff at Mondamin before coming over to run the Green Cove paddling program.
Maryemma Pennington, has worked at Green Cove for nearly 20 years. She spent a few summers teaching tennis before finding her true calling as our Head of Nature in June camp. When not at camp, Maryemma lives in Statesboro, GA, in a little cabin the woods. She loves to go camping with her dog, Oscar, who also comes to camp. She was a preschool teacher’s assistant for several years, before retiring to spend more time in the garden!